DEFICIENT, CONGESTED ROADWAYS COST NEVADA DRIVERS A TOTAL OF $3.2 BILLION ANNUALLY – AS MUCH AS $1,700 PER MOTORIST. COSTS WILL RISE AND TRANSPORTATION WOES WILL WORSEN WITHOUT INCREASED FUNDING
Eds.: The report includes regional pavement condition, congestion levels, highway safety data, and cost breakdowns for the Las Vegas and Reno-Tahoe areas. Info-graphics for each area can be downloaded here: TRIP Nevada Info-graphics.
Las Vegas, NV – Roads and bridges that are deficient, congested or lack desirable safety features cost Nevada motorists a total of $3.2 billion statewide annually – with costs as high as $1,744 per driver in the Las Vegas urban area - due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays. Increased investment in transportation improvements at the local, state and federal levels could relieve traffic congestion, improve road, bridge and transit conditions, boost safety, and support long-term economic growth in Nevada, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization.
The TRIP report, “Nevada Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility,” finds that throughout Nevada, 24 percent of major urban locally and state-maintained roads are in poor condition. Thirteen percent of Nevada’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. The state’s major urban roads are becoming increasingly congested, with drivers wasting significant amounts of time and fuel each year. And, more than 1,300 people were killed in crashes on Nevada’s roads from 2010 to 2014. The state experienced the largest increases in the nation in vehicle miles of travel and population growth between 2000 and 2015, further stressing an already overcrowded and underfunded transportation system.
Driving on deficient roads costs each Las Vegas area driver $1,744 per year, while Reno-Tahoe area motorists lose an average of $1,192 per year. These costs come in the form of extra vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on roads in need of repair, lost time and fuel due to congestion-related delays, and the costs of traffic crashes in which roadway features likely were a contributing factor. The TRIP report calculates the cost to motorists of insufficient roads in the Las Vegas and Reno-Tahoe urban areas. A breakdown of the costs per motorist in each area along with a statewide total is below.
The TRIP report finds that 24 percent of Nevada’s major urban locally and state-maintained roads are in poor condition, while 41 percent are in mediocre or fair condition. The remaining 35 percent are in good condition. Driving on rough roads costs Nevada motorists a total of $812 million annually in extra vehicle operating costs. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.
“The results of the TRIP report reinforce the urgency and need to responsibly invest in our local infrastructure now,” said Clark County Commissioner Larry Brown. “Investment in our infrastructure is imperative for our public safety and the mobility of commuters and goods throughout our community."
Increasing levels of traffic congestion cause significant delays in Nevada, particularly in its larger urban areas, choking commuting and commerce. Traffic congestion robs commuters of time and money and imposes increased costs on businesses, shippers and manufacturers, which are often passed along to the consumer. TRIP estimates the annual value of lost time and wasted fuel as a result of congestion in Nevada is approximately $1.6 billion per year.
"The importance of developing and maintaining our transportation infrastructure is critical to the successful economic diversification going on in northern Nevada," said Carson City Mayor Robert L. Crowell.
A total of 13 percent of Nevada’s bridges show significant deterioration or do not meet modern design standards. Two percent of Nevada’s bridges are structurally deficient, with significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports or other major components. An additional 11 percent of the state’s bridges are functionally obsolete, which means they no longer meet modern design standards, often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment.
Traffic crashes in Nevada claimed the lives of 1,313 people between 2010 and 2014. Nevada’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.15 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel is higher than the national average of 1.08. The fatality rate on Nevada’s rural non-Interstate roads was 2.35 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2014, nearly two and a half times higher than the 0.99 fatality rate on all other roads and highways in the state.
The efficiency and condition of Nevada’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Annually, $144 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Nevada, mostly by truck. Seventy-three percent of the goods shipped annually to and from Nevada are carried by trucks and another 21 percent are carried by courier services or multiple mode deliveries, which include trucking.
“These conditions are only going to get worse if greater funding is not made available at the state and local levels,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Without adequate investment, Nevada’s transportation system will become increasingly deteriorated and congested, hampering economic growth and quality of life of the state’s residents.”